Beacon Sky Survey

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  1. As with all things around FAA, stay on the conservative side. I highly recommend taking a moment and check the local sunset and civil twilight time through the air almanac. Problems arise if you eyeball when the sun hits the horizon. It gets tricky when you have obstructions like buildings, haze, clouds, and hilly/mountain terrain. What will you count as the horizon? When the sun is below the mountain top or when it passes the lowest valley point that's just a few degrees over? To really cover your butt, you can note the sunset time in your flight log. In case of an investigation, this will demonstration you are a responsible pilot and you took precaution in your pre-flight planning. It is one more step, but totally worth the time. Best, Kam
  2. Local and state regulations around drone no-fly zones are changing rapidly. I'm interested in hearing how everyone is figuring out where you can and cannot fly. Any recommended apps, websites, or method? Thanks! Kam
  3. Susan, Thanks for bringing this up. I haven't needed repairs yet so have not encountered. I'm going to guess that DJI does not have a standard practice in how to address our record keeping concerns yet and you will need to keep bugging them until you get an answer. Keep this on their radar. They will address it when they realized the liability issues around this. Thank you for practicing good record keeping since it's important for the sUAS community to practice a culture of safety. Keep us posted. I'm very interested to see how DJI resolve this. Best, Kam
  4. Honestly, it depends on what your goals are. Is this a hobby drone where your goal is to play? Or do you have to get a job done? Will you need to change cameras/sensors? Phantom 3 is a good model. You can fly on your own set it for automated flight. A it's sophisticated enough to "get the job done" if you're trying to do some imagery. Lots of after market software options so you can play around with new tools and skills. If you can afford it, and willing to risk damage, then Phantom 4 is really nice. More steady flight AND collision avoidance sensors on the front side. A little extra protection on your $1200+ investment. Note that P4's camera cannot be swapped out. Will you be flying over people? If so, I would highly recommend the Yuneec Typhoon H for the extra engine redundancy. Nice to have the piece of mind. I think it comes down to how much $$ are have to play with and what you want to accomplish. Don't forget to factor in the accessories when you do cost comparisons. No matter what airframe you get, you will need some extras for your operation. Control device (iPad or tablet), carrying case, extra batteries, sunscreen, prop guards, flight insurance, etc. Best, Kam
  5. I had a lot of fun learning on the Parrot.
  6. I liked learning on the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition Quadricopter. Crashed it into the wall multiple times and only had some minor scratches. I would not recommend small ones like Hubsan x4 because they are pretty twitchy and more frustrating than anything. Couldn't take any amount of wind so it limited my flying time.
  7. You can check in with your local SCORE mentors. They were really helpful in helping me brainstorm up marketing strategies that works well in my local area. Good luck! Kam
  8. Dan, thanks for continuing this discussion. You gave a very thoughtful response. I'm very interested in how UAS can be integrated to support land surveying. Drone data can be seen as an additional layer of data, but it would be misleading for drone surveyors to claim we can completely replace current methods. Unfortunately, in our excitement for this new technology, drone operators are accidently gaining a reputation as "snake oil salesmen" within some industries such as surveying and agriculture. They're very cautious about all the grand promises of quick and cheap data acquisition. I wonder how and when are the best times to integrate UAS into the existing surveying workflow? Can UAS provide enough cost savings to be worth hiring the extra service/staff? I'll contact you via email to talk shop, too. Best, Kam
  9. Anyone used USAIG as an insurance provider? If so how's the experience? Kam
  10. Glad this thread is going on. I was wondering about this too. It looks a little too easy and low priced to be true. Digging into their page I found this Anybody tried the insurance yet? Kam
  11. Ag flight demo and talks. Aug 18-19 in Oregon. In case anyone here is interested or able to attend.
  12. Thanks for reply! @Uaviator53 I hadn't even considered post construction surveying. How are your client using the maps? Are you getting repeat customers? Best, Kam
  13. Anyone ran into problems for not having a land surveyor state license? Providing aerial surveying can sometimes replace boots-on-the-ground topographic surveying. I expect there will (already been) push back that UAV data are not as accurate as ground measurements. For example, would a client prefer state licensed ground crew over a newbie UAV surveyor? How do you justify UAV other than lower cost? Thanks, Kam